10 Problems You Can Solve With A Multimeter Today

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When washing machine ceases to work

The first thing to check would be the motors. For this, disconnect the washing machine from its electrical and disassemble the shell. Locate the two wire leads that connect to the motor housing and remove them by unplugging them from the motor. Turn the dial on your multimeter or select the appropriate button for the RX1 setting on your multimeter. This tests resistance. Place one probe from your multimeter onto each of the metal tabs on the motor that were exposed by unplugging the wires.

The multimeter should show a “0” or very low number. If it does, the motor coils are functional. If it shows a high number or it shows “infinite,” it indicates the motor is defective.

Remove one probe from the electrical terminal and place it on the shell of the motor to test the ground. If the meter reflects anything other than zero, this means that the motor is not grounded properly. Once you complete this test, reverse the probes on the motor and test the other lug on the electrical terminal.

The trouble with the water heater

Checking your water heater power is the first thing you should do if you have an electric hot water heater problem. Most residential electric water heaters use 240 volts but it is better to confirm the voltage rating on the label. Shut down all the breakers before removing the access panels. Remove the access panels, as well as any insulation or plastic safety covers.

Check if the reset button has tripped off, if it has, then simply resetting it should restore normal functioning of your water heater.

Checking the power supply

Use a small flat head screwdriver to set the upper thermostat to its highest temperature setting. Set the lower thermostat to its lowest setting. Turn the power supply to the water heater back on. Connect the two probes of the multimeter to the two wires above the reset button. Turn on the meter and switch it to a voltage measuring mode if you are using a multimeter, which can also measure current. If you connect the black probe to the black wire and the red probe to the red wire, then the reading on the voltmeter should be around 240 volts. If you connect the probes to the wires in the wrong order, then the reading will be negative. If the voltage reads close to zero, then there is a problem with the power supply to the water heater. Check the wiring, as one of the wires connecting the water heater to the property’s main power circuit, may need to be replaced.

Checking the upper thermostat

Connect the multimeter probes to the upper element contact screws. If the meter reading is close to zero, then the upper thermostat is faulty. It is now time to test the lower thermostat. Use the screwdriver again to set the upper thermostat to the lowest temperature. You should hear a click as the upper thermostat turns off the upper heating element. Set the lower thermostat to the maximum temperature.

Checking the lower thermostat

Connect the probes to the lower thermostat contact screws and read the meter display. The reading should be roughly 120 volts. If the reading is zero or almost zero, then the lower thermostat is faulty and needs to be replaced. Detailed procedure can be found on how to test water heater thermostat

Note: It is a huge amount of electricity which might even kill. So, take extra care while dealing with such high power devices.


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1 COMMENT

  1. I bought a new multimeter…it is capable of reading 230VAC/110VAC, 50Hz supply…..but it is not reading 1VAC,5KHz supply….can u explain me why?? (I want to measure voltage only.)

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